When did you first start sewing and how did you learn?
I was taught at school when I was 11 but my sewing teachers were very discouraging and it put me off for years! I properly learnt to sew in 2009 - I took a beginner's dressmaking class when my youngest started school. I loved it from the very first class.
Can you remember the first thing you made?
The first thing I made at school was an apron. The first thing I made as an adult was an A line skirt. New Look 6843 to be exact and I still wear it today!
Do you have any favourite pattern designers or celebrity sewers?
I've sewn a lot of Colette patterns and really like some of the By Hand London designs. I've just made a dress using a Christine Haynes pattern - the Emery dress. This was the first time I've used one of her patterns and I was seriously impressed, the fit was perfect! I also like Tilly and the Buttons patterns.
What's your sewing room like and how do you organize your stash?
I sew in our converted loft room which is great because it has lots of light. It also doubles up as a guest room so I do find myself twitching when we have people to stay and I don't have access to my den! My fabric is stashed under the bed out of sight but I have lots of vintage patterns and quilting cottons displayed on shelves which I love to look at as I sew. I have a dress form, a basic sewing machine and an overlocker, but no cutting table. I have to do my cutting out downstairs in the kitchen.
What music/podcasts/TV shows do you love to stitch along to?
I have the radio on as background noise while I'm working, usually tuned to a 1970's or 1980's station. The exception is when I'm trying to write a blog post - I have to turn the radio off then as I can't concentrate otherwise!
Do you do any other crafts and what are your hobbies?
I used to make my own bags, purses and accessories to sell at craft fairs. I'd generally do a few a year, mostly concentrating on the Christmas period. Making enough handmade items for a well stocked craft stall is a LOT of work so I now just make things to order. I had a lot of fun doing it though and made some great friends. I'm very envious of anybody who can knit or crochet - I've tried to learn how to do both and was absolutely dreadful! I'll bake the odd cake and have tried my hand at deco-patch before now, but nothing really compares to sewing for me. I love reading and am in a book group (although to be honest, it's more of a wine and crisps club).
Is there anything else you'd like to add?
You can read more about my sewing adventures on my blog www.handmadejane.co.uk